Detained Sen. Leila de Lima was in a foul mood last Sunday as she croaked about her conjured impunity under President Rody Duterte, reiterating that “it is imperative for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and relevant United Nations (UN) bodies and mechanisms to work and work urgently, not only to frustrate Duterte’s plans but more importantly and ultimately to shrink the space for impunity in the Philippines.”
De Lima, suspected of running the New Bilibid Prison drug mafia, made the frantic call amid the falling out between lawyer Jude Sabio and his erstwhile handler, coup plotter Antonio Trillanes IV, over some unmet financial dues.
Since it was Sabio who filed the “crimes against humanity” complaint against Rody at the ICC, the lawyer’s sudden turnaround puts the main yellow ammunition on the balance.
The ICC would fulfill Rody’s allegation that it is ran by idiots if it persists on continuing with its “preliminary examination” after Sabio spilled out his true character of being a Trillanes puppet.
The overblown figures regarding deaths in the war on drugs, which were then labeled as extrajudicial killings, were the basis of the ICC action that in turn is being egged on by Rody’s yellow critics.
Sabio’s last sally was a commentary at a usual yellow news outlet indicating the supposed “bad omen” of the UN Resolution sponsored by Iceland calling for a probe on the war on drugs.
The Trillanes pawn thereafter was complaining about the loss of a source of income as he apparently subsists on the usually fat yellow retainers that dried out after the midterm elections where the opposition candidates were shut out.
Sabio used to enjoy the life of a big-shot lawyer courtesy of Trillanes and other yellow financiers right after the filing of the ICC case in April 2017.
He even landed an interview with the Washington DC-based National Public Radio (NPR) which has broadcast syndications that span the whole American continent regarding his “advocacies” that he claimed led to the filing of the ICC case.
Trillanes packaged Sabio as a crusading lawyer and the NPR stated in the interview that “if Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is ever held to account for the thousands of extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs — and that is a big if — it will largely be because of the dogged determination of one man (Sabio).”
The interview, however, was a huge disappointment since it only exposed the little knowledge of Sabio about the case he supposedly filed and the subject of his claimed crusade.
To open the interview, Sabio was cited for his “guts to file a case against President Duterte in the ICC.”
Sabio was asked “how did a low-profile litigator got involved with Duterte in the ICC in the first place? Blind luck and a bad ticker.”
He claimed to have “underwent angioplasty in June 2016 and while he was recuperating, he heard about Edgar Matobato.”
“And I believed in the testimony of Edgar Matobato,” he said.
Matobato, of course, is another hound in the stable of Trillanes who claimed to be an assassin of the fabled “Davao Death Squad” that was supposedly assembled by Rody to carry out his orders when he was a city mayor.
Matobato testified before the Senate along with former Davao policeman SPO3 Arturo Lascañas about their alleged involvement in the death squad.
Sabio claimed that when he heard that Matobato did not have a lawyer, he volunteered to give his services pro-bono.
“Based on the testimony of Edgar Matobato and Arturo Lascañas, it is already an established fact that there was a system of death squad killings in Davao City. And based on the pronouncements of President Duterte, when he was still mayor, when he was a presidential candidate and when he was even a president, it is still clear that he continued the system in the war on drugs,” the lawyer then claimed.
It would be a big joke if Sabio ran out of money from pure altruism in rendering free legal aid since the filing of a case at The Hague would be very costly. If he had the other cases to support his pro-bono lawyering, he would not be running after Trillanes for something like P700,000 in collectibles.
During his heyday, Sabio had been in and out of the country as the celebrity lawyer in the ICC case against Rody and his script never changed in one interview after another as he would ascribe the filing of the case to his sense of volunteerism.
Rody’s yellow opponents including Trillanes, however, had admitted that the efforts to oust him would have to be taken abroad since it is not bearing fruit with the overwhelming public support on the President.
The ICC case is lost since Sabio admitted that the source of the information he filed is polluted by a political agenda.